Niagara Falls Partially Freezes Over From Bitter Cold

Legendary Niagara Falls, the group of three waterfalls roughly 17 miles from Buffalo, New York, that have the highest flow rate of any waterfalls in North America, partially froze over on Tuesday.

The winter storm that tormented upper New Yorkers struck 25 miles south of Niagara Falls, where 3,160 tons of water flow over the Falls every second.

WATCH: #BNNCanada Reports.

Recent wave of sub-zero temperatures sweeping the region has turned Niagara Falls into a partially frozen winter wonderland. #NiagaraFalls #Canada #Environment

— Gurbaksh Singh Chahal (@gchahal) December 28, 2022

Niagara Falls partly freezes as temperature dips in US

📽️: Lokman Vural Elibol

— Anadolu Images (@anadoluimages) December 28, 2022

US is so cold that Niagara Falls has nearly completely frozen

— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) December 28, 2022

The Falls never completely freeze, mist and spray can form a crust of ice over the water, which gives the impression that the water has stopped flowing, but water is still flowing underneath the ice.

Before steel ice-booms were erected at the Falls decades ago across the mouth of the Niagara River where it meets Lake Erie, ice could block the water from flowing upstream from Lake Erie into the Niagara River, which caused the water on the American side of the Falls to freeze over.

The original ice boom, erected in 1964, was comprised of 30 foot (9.1m) floating timbers connected by steel cables. But in 1997, the modern ice boom comprised of 22 span cables with boom spans made of 11 hollow steel surface floating pontoons was installed.

An ice bridge can form across the river below the Falls in freezing temperatures; until 1912, people would sometimes stay on the bridge —which spanned from Canada to the Unites States over the Niagara River — to sell souvenirs or look up at the Falls.

But on Feb. 4, 1912, three people on the bridge died when ice separated and knocked them into the Niagara River. 35 people were standing n the ice bridge, including Eldridge Stanton, 32 and his wife Clara Stanton, 38, from Toronto, Ontario. Burrell Hecock, 17, was throwing snowballs with a friend on the bridge.

Then the ice bridge started to break apart. Hecock started running for the Canadian shore; the Stantons ran for the American side. The Stantons were inches from the shore when the ice separated, leaving them on the ice but water between them and the shore. They turned to run toward the Canadian shore.

Clara Stanton fell; Hecock turned around and ran back to help her. Now the Stantons and Hecock were stranded on the ice sheet as it surged downstream with his arm around the waist of his wife.

The ice sheet split, leaving the Stantons on one part with Hecock on the other. Despite efforts by rescuers dangling ropes from the bridges above, the three ultimately drowned. Hecock actually grabbed a rope and was hoisted 60 feet above the water before he lost his grip and plunged into the icy water; Stanton tried twice to tie a rope around his wife’s waist but then realized it was futile, ultimately holding her close and kissing her as they knelt down with his arms around her and they were plunged into the rapids.

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